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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Abstract

Veterans Day in Britain is a solemn occasion. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month (the moment of Armistice for World War I) there is silence for two minutes as the entire nation stops to pay tribute to those who lost their lives serving the British Commonwealth. The queen places a wreath on the Cenotaph. Old men and young people alike wear red poppies on their lapels. The day, also called Remembrance Day, is somber, observed by quiet national ceremonies across most of Europe and the world. In the United States we lack this national moment of coming together. There are some parades and commemorations, but mostly the day is famous for sales — a kind of an early black Friday. As one big eCommerce website puts it “Whether you’re looking for holiday decorations, gifts, or just a little something for yourself, Veterans Day weekend is a great time to shop, as almost every store is having a sale!”.

Citation

Bilmes, Linda J. "A Call for a National Strategy on Veterans." Cognoscenti, November 11, 2014.